The scrying stone dies out, leaving an impressed group of overlords, demons, self-proclaimed gods, lawmakers and politicians in the large, thickly-misted room. While it seems large enough to accommodate hundreds, maybe thousands of people, the liquid-mist veil saturating the room with a warm swirl is defeating to all but the most powerful of gazes.
“That utter subhuman, that incomprehensible wretch,” a voice cracks through the dark drawing room of Whihelmish’s most secretive and exclusive gentleman’s society.
The figures along the table move gaze to one of the end-most figures, Overlord Torment, and the one reasonable contender for High Overlord against Chaos.
“If what you say is true, then this will be my prime opportunity,” he laughs as he tightens his arcane-fire grasp around his goblet, crushing the fenerite crystal in his grip and splashing the centuries-old chatanna across the table.
Overlord Greed, a lesser dragon-kin that’s perhaps the best dressed life form in the universe gives a slight hiss at Torment’s action. The glass and wine he ruined was worth about a dozen human lives on the black market, and while it is but a pittance to him, his didn’t climb to the top of the economic ladder by being flippant with his possessions.
The man Torment addressed, a cloaked professional owning an air along the shadier lines of work speaks up with a suave poise. “It’s quite true, I can assure you… unless you do not believe me.”
With that showman-like tone, everyone, even the particularly inebriated Lord Bulan, face-deep in Overlord Lust’s cleavage, address him with interest.
From the man’s robes is produced a gloved hand, holding one of the most valuable objects in all The Holy Verses. The Planar Sphere, one and all, shines like a golden cloud of molten, fluctuating dreams and sunrises.
The dark room is lit along with dozens of awestuck gazes.
Even Overlord Greed, who knew for certain that he had it, cannot help but slit his lizardlike eyes in awe at the sublime magnificence – it is like purpose and fulfillment itself contained within an object.
“King Rayda’s own…” Overlord Domination booms out from his fist-thick hyperorichalcum helmet. “Never in a million years.”
“Rayda be blessed,” another says.
“Forces bless the true king,” one more mutters.
The majority have long since moved on from worshiping the man – all they have now are the pieces of genius and wonder that he’s left behind.
The cloaked man nods with a magician-like air before continuing. “Now, ladies and gentlemen. As you see this is clearly no illusion, I’ll even allow you to draw mana from it as proof, if you wish. Now I’m sure what this certainly proves, however, is that Chaos’ entire tower network is now entirely undefended.”
“Never did like that one,” a lesser, untitled overlord mumbles. “Acting like he can have more than one tower when one’s perfectly good enough.”
The thief of the planar sphere nods with a grin, “Well now there’s hundreds, perhaps thousands to lay claim to,” he turns to Overlord Greed, who takes a sip of wine before starting. “How many of you believe you can take on a tower’s worth of Chaos’ minions?”
Everyone raises their hands, a few of them slower than what would be considered proper and overlordly.
Greed jostles his glass of inordinately expensive wine. “With a simple payment, I will give you the coordinates to one of his towers. My intelligences have mapped what we believe to be about seventy percent of his precious ‘Towerne’, and for the right price, you too can join in on the action. So?”
There’s a nervous moment. The more savvy overlords and iron-fisted rulers realize that Greed’s invited them here to be trapped in a deal, as well as provide an opportunity. Truly, who would be the weakling that would verbally turn the deal down?
“I trust you all did as I asked and brought a suitable payment?” he asks with an expectantly gentle, sharp toothed smile.
All of the overlords, spare Torment, heave and produce relics, magical items, and precious reagents out. Everything from ancient weapons and esoteric spell ingredients to plantation deeds and feudal rights are displayed.
Greed, and then the rest follow on looking to Torment.
“Are you serious?” Lust asks, gently fondling Lord Bulan’s offering.
Torment stands up from his chair. “I appreciate your assistance in such a delicate matter,” he says, his jaws shifting under his fluctuating frame of red-blue mana.
Greed looses a dramatic sigh. “Do you really think this is appropriate? Taking my precious information for free, making a specific decision not to play along with your fellow compatriots? You know the only way we’ll be able to finish this bastard off is if we do it together.”
Torment grins, almost matching Chaos in its glorious wideness. “Don’t treat me like one of your lapdog associates,” Torment says, raising a pitched hiss among the crowd attending. “Don’t lot me in with these worms. I’m a real overlord, and I take as I please.”
Greed snaps his fingers.
An elite troop of assassins appear from all sides of the room, all sides of the table, and at all sides of Torment. In the very next second, half of them are dead, the table’s toppled onto the other side of struggling guests. Torment stretches with a crack of his extra-dimensional knuckles. “Thanks for the party – good wine. You can consider me sparing your lives as my payment.” He says the moment before slipping his foot into the wall, smashing it through for five meters out.
Greed sighs, Lust shrugs, and Torment leaps away.
As the various rulers regain their bearings, the thief leans over to a relaxed, if quite displeased Greed. “Is he always like that?”
“Uncooperative and unstoppable? Yes. Even harder to work with than Order. At least she knows when to bow her head.” Greed turns to the man. “Keep this safe. Whether he expected it or not Overlord Torment is going to serve our plan well.”
“Chaos will be coming for you soon,” Greed notes plainly.
The thief’s eyes widen, his charming face curled with instant horror. “Wh-how? You said this would go off without a hi-”
“We destroyed the trail, that’s not going to stop him from figuring it out once he gets his hands on Torment… we’ll just have to make our move before then.”
The thief gives a worried nod as the little dragon-kin turns to the others.
“I trust no one else wants to reject my offer? After all, we’ve already had quite a few volunteers for invading the space first, so if you want to make your move, it would be n-”
Everyone re-offers their treasures, and Greed grins violently. “Excellent.”
It’s not often that Chaos has an uneasy look about him, but it’s one of those days.
“What’s wrong, sir? Find something weird?” Towerne Ops Minion asks as Chaos phases into the central control room of the Central Tower.
Minions rush about elegantly designed consoles of both high technology and ancient magitech: a synthesis of science and magic comparable only to the glorious Librarium’s vast resources.
“I have a… premonition,” Chaos speaks with a slant, almost displeased gaze. As far as it is now, it’s more of a slight discomfort in sight of a wonderful, perfect day.
Towerne Ops Minion, one of the very few minions wearing a uniform, let alone clothes at all, straightens the brim of his officer’s cap as he gestures The High Dominator to the large three dimensional illusory display in the middle of the room.
Several of the towers, many of strange shapes and sizes that one would never guess to be a tower at first sight are outlined in yellow.
“There’s never been that many before, have there?” Chaos asks.
“No sir,” Towerne Ops Minion notes, only a head shorter than the overlord himself, which makes him taller and thus more respected than about ninety percent of The Minionry. “The hardpoints are doing their best and Spa-Def is holding them up til now, but the amount of openings are increasing, and many of these are better defended. He won’t be able to handle them for long. We’re getting a few in Desert, Combat, and Vacation that have counter spells in place to defeat our fires.” He gestures to the only red one, a spiraling tower that looks more like a slinky distributed across several areas than a single connected building. “Astral’s been overrun.”
Chaos does not take a breath, he does not wince, or gasp. He just squints ever so slightly at his extradimensional home under attack before he turns around.
“What’s the plan, sir?”
“This is connected, so I’m going to find some kindly friends to talk to,” he says with a leading tone before raising his hand.
Towerne Ops Minion straightens up. He knows by the tone of his voice alone that it’s about to get spectacularly messy. “Sir, may their deaths be qui- sir!”
Chaos halts and glances back. “Yes?”
“Mana signature, overlord size coming in on… central, sir!”
Chaos hums. “Overlord is a fairly vague-”
“The real deal, sir, look!”
The Central Tower icon flashes red the second an enormous, ear-tearing explosion overtakes the space above them.
“Play the notes,” Chaos says before leaping across the room, through the corridors, and up multiple stairwells to the outer part of the central tower.
Towerne Ops forgoes all professional courtesy to slap a big red button.
A blaring, Towerne-wide alarm goes off, and now not even the densest, most clueless minion could mistake it for an prank.
Chaos blasts out the double doors of the facility to see what looks like the remnants of a meteor having crashed spectacularly in the massive center plaza – hundreds of pleasant chairs and umbrella tables are ruined, but at least Hot Dog Minion’s stand is safe.
Standing in the epicenter and taking ineffective fire from minions in all directions stands a man almost as tall as Chaos, fluctuating between red, blue and purple. The flames eclipsing his body surges with arcane violence as The High Overlord comes into view. His right foot, situated over the skull of one Board Games Minion, twists firmly into his head with a challenging display of carelessness.
“Well, look who it is,” Torment hisses from his astral internals.
Chaos’ eyes widen, and his smile grows ever so slightly, if simply out of irony.
“Ahh, my dearest acquaintance: my beloved runner up.”
“Pathetic dog,” Torment snaps, the clicking of his jaws sounding like the ethereal tearing of cosmic material. “Having a problem with your little sphere, are we?”
Chaos’ eyes widen all the way, to massive, perfect circles denoting a horrible will for murder. “Wonderful, so you must know who it was that displaced it from me?”
Torment fashions his weapon, the gently-named sword known as Ultimate God Slaughter Knife, from a dimensional sheath the size of a fingernail. The massive sword blasts out from its tiny cage, fluctuating as its atomic structure wildly wraps itself into an exceptional weapon of killing.
“One of Greed’s men. Some kind of cheap trick rogue that uses non-euclidian molecular shit. Took me for a major pussy.”
Chaos’ grins. “How uncharacteristically considerate of you to tell me.”
“It’s the last thing you’ll learn, other than that I was always the rightful High Ove-”
Chaos raises his fists. “Let us see.”
Torment scowls, noting the lack of his opponent’s weapon. “How dare you?”
“You are not worth it,” Chaos says simply.
“You’re going to regret such a stand when I quench my thirst with your blood.”
“That would be a peculiar thing to do,” Chaos says, now suddenly unsure if Torment is seriously considering consuming part of him in victory. “Loose ether isn’t edible to my knowledge. I on the other hand am going to put your head on a wall, with a plaque that says ‘killed without the use of a weapon’, I think.”
“Bet it, fool,” Torment challenges, brandishing his dreihander fiercely.
“And then I’ll put it into a janitor’s closet where no one will see it,” Chaos adds with a pleasant, apt tone.
Torment roars, leaping forward. “I’ll put you in a janitor’s closet!”
The two nearly match strength, but Chaos dodges. Despite his memory loss, he rarely forgets an opponent’s style, and The High Punisher relearns fast. Overlord Torment uses grand, wide strikes to cover as much area as possible, not unlike a playing child, but with the power of a millennia-old overlord challenger.
He leaps high at neck height in a dive. It would be considered suicidal for a common fighter’s weight and strength against an opponent, but if you could direct the momentum and power of a locomotive into the surface area of your foot, then you could pull off some rather neat stunts yourself.
Chaos slams Torment like a parent disciplining an unruly birthday boy,
With a motion of equal speed, Torment slaps up at Chaos on the back rung, successfully connecting a hit to The Ultra Destroyer.
The two enter a lightning fast bout of stupendously heavy strikes, pinging in and out of hitting distance as the sheer force between their strikes redirects one or the other into the air.
“Vu’dakai,” Torment begins with a breath in the second of pause between the two before another symphony of swinging, industrially-weighted attacks.
Chaos’ surrounding minions look on in awe as what looks more like a cosmic event than a duel takes place before their glowing gazes.
“Ssay’vu’dakai,” Torment continues, winning just enough breath and just enough pause to concentrate on the verses of magic attached to the incantation.
Chaos’ is hardly ever far away from a grin, but now he’s laughing with a violent mania that’s making even the minions nervous, and they love watching him punish usurpers as a general rule.
As Torment gains confidence in the stability of his singing incantation, he goes on the offensive to seal the deal. The area’s atmosphere begins gaining static, as if even the most unconductive materials are now holding energy to charge a city. “Vu’ta’dakai, Zi’zo’zulamii. Fruss’lozai, italiacah vehor.”
Torment swings wildly and locks what he thinks is a Chaos set off balance. If he can get the spell off and arc the exajoule of electricity into Chaos’ space, it won’t matter how much magic defense he has if his entire molecular structure will disintegrate in an instant.
The center plaza rings with derelict energy and all onlookers dash to safety as even Hot Dog Minion’s stand gains a molten heat of readied charge.
Torment forces out a final breath to secure the hit. “Brilli’ai!”
He ignored that Chaos is grinning still.
With a burst of speed far beyond what he’s shown to Torment, Chaos tears a portal with both hands, creating a conical, three hundred sixty degree portal and intercepts the entirety of the strike. He was readying for this the entire time. Torment, blazing red with cosmic fury, can only gawk in awe as Chaos closes the rift to somewhere and then leaps into the offensive.
Expressing his mana reserve like nitrous oxide into an engine, Chaos uses alteration magic on his already hysterically strong and fast body, reaching speeds that would not only match high-alteration magicians, but humiliate them like writhing mud creatures looking upon a stallion.
Torment, who split the attention of his plan between his sword and his spell, is spent in both stamina and spellpower. He had put everything into that one hit, and though he could fight a common overlord for days more if he needed, Chaos is a different story.
With a fight-ending grapple, Chaos rushes into Torment’s space, incises his fingers up into the chin of his astral skull, and dunks down into the solid brick of the plaza.
“Little bitc-” Torment is not even allowed to insult him as Chaos slams his leg into his jaw using his opponent’s twisted arm as additional leverage. Chaos flings him up and sends a heavy fist through the man’s core, crackled and molten with stellar damage. With a flick, Chaos draws his arm out across Torment, effectively tearing his enemy open.
The entire fight lasted less than a minute.
Torment writhes, screaming in agony as Chaos tears a portal to somewhere.
“You won’t even kill me?!” he demands in disgust.
Chaos points to under his chin. There’s a small white crack – proof that Torment has achieved that which less than a percent of a percent of The High Overlord’s opponent’s have over history. “I do not blame you for your arrogance. You can still be taught to become a soul that uses his power for good things, rather than the useless power struggle of overlords. I’ll take your head when your potential no longer interests me.”
“You are an overlord! You of all should respect what I do.”
Chaos grins. “Overlord is a title they forced upon me. I was never asked if it was what I am.”
Torment scoffs, spitting up cosmic, mana-saturated blood as his rival picks him up by the collarbone. “Then what do you consider yourself?”
Chaos grins. “What use would a truly dominant lifeform have for the assumptions of those under it? Truly, what word could be spoken by your kind that would even come close?”
Torment laughs at the gaudiness of it all the moment Chaos ridges his body for the toss.
“Never come here again,” the High Overlord orders. Torment is sent, utterly and completely out of Towerne, soaring into the portal leading to some faroff and forlorn place among the Omniverse.
Without so much as a breather, Chaos leaps over to Board Games Minion.
“Are you unhurt?” he asks him.
He rolls a pair of dice, and looks up with pride. “Critical success!” he says.
Chaos grins awkwardly. “Of… of course. Very critical, indeed.”
He draws a card out of the deck box for the game he’s currently playing against himself as eight different players. “Ohh, bad luck, though!” he hands him a card which he reads.
“Get ambushed by the law, you lose one squadron?” Chaos repeats before handing the card back.
Board Games Minion shrugs. “I don’t make the rules, I just play the game, sir. We still on for D&D this weekend?”
He nods. “The bard will play his tune,” he says with a grin before turning away.
He gasps with joy and waves him off. “The fighter’s looking forward to it!”
Chaos slams back into the center control room.
Towerne Ops Minion addresses him with a worried look, as the network display does all the talking.
Every tower but four are now either yellow or red. It’s hundreds of different attacks at once.
“How,” Chaos demands.
“Batteries all overrun, pretty sure Spa-Def got yoinked.”
Chaos immediately looks down to the DMI or “total dimensional mass index” stat for all of Towerne.
Even though they’re being invaded, the mass isn’t going up, it’s going down.
The High Overlord’s gaze flares with a berserk ire. “They’re-”
“Kidnapping us, sir,” the minion adds, winning concerned looks from the other operator minions at their consoles.
Chaos gags violently, the Kingdom Slayer spewing from his extra dimensional jaws. Pulling the handle out with a brisk sweep, he turns back.
“What are you going to do, sir?”
“Send them out,” Chaos says simply with a leading tone.
Before Towerne Ops Minion can even peep, The Prime Obliterator cuts through the fabric of space time to a tower, any tower.
Appearing immediately at the Desert Tower’s sunny high mesa, he spots out Overlord Domination ushering a slew of mystic chains across a bevy of struggling minions as he prepares to haul them all off through a nearby portal.
The overlord looks to The High Overlord with an air simultaneously bordering on fatalism and listless surprise -as if he had already knew detection would be fatal.
“Ahh, and I suppose I’m the first one you’d go f-”
Chaos slams his fist so hard into Overlord Domination that his bones liquefy under the immense speed and pressure. The chains immediately dissipate and the minions are released with the overlord’s instant death.
He receives a cheer as he twists back through another portal, across the nether, and into Swamp Tower.
Lord Xygoz the unkillable, levitating a company’s worth of helpless minions through a portal, is met with a decisive slam from The Kingdom Slayer’s leading edge, delivered with such a speed and force that it qualifies as both a cutting tool and industrial wrecking equipment. Xygoz is scattered like wild, crimson chaff, his myriad of magic enchantments meaningless under the weight of The Great Humiliator.
Another round of cheering from freed minions, but Chaos knows there’s no time.
He moves fast – very fast:
Snow Tower… Lord Bulan meets a firm, punishing strike from above, flattening his slothful bones and slaying him instantly.
Vacation Tower… Vampire Lord Azrilan is aware of Chaos’ presence for almost one entire second before taking The Kingdoms Slayer to his heart as Chaos chops his head off with his hand.
Battle Tower… Admirably handled by Raid Minion and his corps of bloodthirsty killers. Overlord Unkillable will not be remembered for choosing an honest overlord title.
Pinewood Tower… The exceptionally named and obvious subspacer Ultra Frog One Million Orgasms hops away the second Chaos appears. He doesn’t have enough time to pursue, especially considering he didn’t take anyone.
Delicatessen Tower… Cooking Minion has a shockingly good frying pan swing, as Dragon-Priest Ai’ansola’s pre-frontal cortex has just discovered for the first and last time.
Floaty Tower… Roc “Who Sees All” Avaihah somehow fails to see Chaos porting in the semi-second before his brains are smashed out by a single dashing kick from Chaos’ foot.
Tower by tower, fool by fool, Chaos deals with them all. It takes him only seconds per tower, and thus seconds to utterly crush overlords, many of which would claim to be a rival, even something comparable to an equal. He just doesn’t get it: how could they have all forgotten who he is, what he’s capable of?
He’s irritated, but it is far from hopeless.
Many of his towers had either enough minions or the right ones to defend them, but every other tower he’ll see them – his captured minions, crying and reaching for him to come rescue them.
Never has Chaos been so humiliated, at least, not in recent memory. To do him credit, Towerne has never been attacked with such ferocity, nor with so many unified pushes from so many fronts.
After every neck has been shattered, every arm torn off and shoved directly into its owner’s throat, and The Kingdom Slayer casting instant judgement on a full squadron of overlords, Chaos flicks the blood of nearly a hundred different creatures off his body – red, blue, green, white, and black life force slipping off him like liquid insults to his perfect body.
“One issue resolved,” he says in the middle of the Mountain Tower, flushing a red fall of leaves in every direction. He tears another portal as one of the onlookers, the dedicated and ever-motivated Hero Minion, pipes up.
“Where are you going, sir?”
“Whihelmish,” Chaos notes. “I won’t be able to track each one down on my own, so I’ll simply have to get the list of the animals that Greed invited into his zoo.” Gripping the rift he looks back to the group of minions that have gathered. “Don’t worry for me. It may take some time, but I’ll be back in time for dinner.”
Hero Minion nods his head to the side in confusion. “Uh, but what do you mean by anima-… Ah.” Hero Minion watches as Chaos flings himself through the rift to Whihelmish, the country holding Greed, Lust, and their cabal of loyal overlords, cronies, and slaves.
Chaos steps out into the snow-white winds of Whihelmish’s cold capitol amidst the noise of screaming citizens and alarms.
Looks like the lightning strike he redirected was accurate.
The simply titled Whihelmish Keep, as it is in fact the city named after the castle and not vice-versa, is missing nearly a third of itself. It’s in a manic blaze of destruction from the lightning strike Chaos sent down just minutes earlier.
He at least spares a quick glance to the townspeople: those innocent souls that are so clueless to their masters and their wrong judgement of the world. Chaos feels for them in their innocence, but he does not feel responsible for any suffering that’s coming to them. It was Greed that brought this upon them – Chaos understands he is only the hammer in the sky, waiting patiently for its time to slam down in judgement. If a mouse does not wish to be hurt, he must avoid biting the cat.
One man, maimed by fire, is surrounded by his family as he wheezes he last breaths. As they shout frantically for any sanamancer nearby that could help him. Of course peasants wouldn’t have the time nor resources to learn such a vital magic.
Chaos shrugs – he knows everyone, once of age, must take responsibility for the pain they allow in their life, as he, like anyone, can affect the world.
With a slip of the finger, Chaos casts what would normally be a multi-gesture spell with a single wave.
The man’s flesh crawls and sets back upon his body perfectly, and a flush of air enters his lungs as all pain subsides.
While Chaos steps by under the cover of the destruction, the man and his family flinch in comprehensive disbelief. Tears of joy and warm embraces are exchanged, the overlord’s footsteps fading from their hearing.
Chaos pays no mind to the rest: If Greed cared so much about those under his charge he could have put any number of precautions in place.
Leaning into a stride, Chaos leaps across the wreckage from Torment’s redirected lightning into the massive hole of the keep, which is still alight in a massive fire.
Landing in the epicenter of the blaze to avoid detection, Chaos flicks his antennae about in perceptive readiness.
He feels Greed’s mana signature down below, where the greatest depravities take place within Whihelmish’s recesses.
Chaos shifts his weight to several times his usual and falls through the burning floor, then thirteen more floors before correcting it and punching through the final floor with his fist.
Casting the light of the fire from the floors above, Chaos lands in a long, wide stone chamber.
Delivery Minion’s bound with the barrels of several magitech pistols placed sharply against his head. The owners of said pistols are a few of Greed and Lust’s many operatives. Among the the ten are many, many more identically-uniformed operatives, all loaded up to the teeth with magitech weapons of all conceivable varieties – designs ranging from human, faeish, angelic, demonic, subspacer, and much more.
Chaos bows a head, though his gaze . “Your masters refuse to even meet me after such wretchedness?” he asks.
The tall, masked man wearing white and gold at the front reiterates his possession of the gun with a simple press against the sobbing Delivery Minion’s head, whose stubby little legs are kicking in terror. “You understand they would never risk such a thing.”
Chaos grins. “Of that I have no doubt. Why?”
“We are not told their reasons… here,” he says, another operator offering a small chat stone attached to a golden chain, so finely crafted that it even sports filigree along its links.
Chaos snaps up the stone from the operative, and raises it to his jaws.
“Another fake mana signature?” Chaos asks.
A laugh comes from the other side of the stone. “My dear boy. You must get with the times. Kanvane has been inventing spells you’d kill a civilization to get your hands on… that, or perhaps you’re more easily fooled than everyone thinks,” an evenly toned Greed speaks through the other side of the stone. “Now if you don’t do as I say I’m going to kill every one of your little vassals with a bullet right to the head.”
Chaos grins. “…You seem more confident than usual.”
“You killed my brother, Chaos. Murdered him. You left the two of us with a hole in our hearts, our minds, our souls, Chaos. You don’t understand what it means to lose someone you’ve lived thousands of years alongside… but you’re about to if you don’t relent.”
Chaos squints darkly. “I will humor your thoughts, this once.”
Greed chuckles softly. “Now I have here the list of all the guests that attended my little party. Before you get the wise idea of interrogating them, I withheld names and had a mist spell cast over the keep for the entirety of the transactions. None of them would know even a tenth of the other attendants. That said, here’s how I’d like this to work out. I’ll let all of them live, and give you the locations of all the people who took the code from me, I’ll leave a little trail of breadcrumbs for you to get your little Planar Sphere, and in return you give me The Kingdom Slayer.”
There’s a silence in the deep room, only the crackling fire above making any sound for several seconds.
Chaos has his answer.
“Very well,” he spits forth The Kingdom Slayer – the one edge to humble all others.
Softly and with great reverence, two operatives step forward to take the blade. Chaos places it in their hands, and the second it exists his grip the two collapse from the weight.
The two scream from the pain of having their hands crushed as a dozen more rush in to help them pick up the sword.
“Do be careful,” Chaos says, “It’s a bit heavy.” He raises the stone back up to his face. “Satisfied?”
Greed laughs through the stone. “Absolutely ecstatic. You’re a wiser man than many, Chaos, but you’re only a man, and I, along with others, believe it’s your time to retire your title.”
Chaos grins. “The High Overlordship is a curse, not a blessing. It is a phrase-long name that makes you the enemy of the ambitious, crawling billions that make up your ignorant caste of blind worms. Now where are my minions?”
Greed sighs. “Oh, Chaos. Ever the one with a temper. As good as you are at hiding it, I know the truth about you. My brother-”
“Where are my minions?”
“My brother,” Greed continues. “Was a million times more suited to the title.”
“Pride received what he had wished for his entire life: combat against the greatest. He was not greater than me, so he died. Your closeness to him does not change the fact that he was cruel, self-important, and a blasphemer to greater matters.”
Greed laughs. “You… you really think the world just works however you want it to, don’t you?”
“I have put in the work. It is my right to reap the rewards.”
“He worked harder than you could eve-”
“Then why did he fail, Greed? If he was as great as you believe he was, then why are you even speaking to me? I refuse to let creatures like him exist in my world – I can scarcely tolerate humanity as it is. To have the audacity to sa-”
There’s a click of a pistol hammer on the other side of the line. “Do you want the fucking coordinates or don’t you?”
A cruel smile crosses The High Overlord’s face. “How kindly. I would love them.”
“You’ll find the list within the stomach of the closest operative. Once you’re done come find me and I’ll give you the remaining five I have here personally. Have fun.” At that the stone clicks out and Chaos looks over to the one just a meter closer to him than the others. He assumed all this time he was trembling because he was just nervous to be around him – that’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, Chaos would like to think.
“Make it quick,” the operative whimpers as his fellows untie Delivery Minion and his scooter, which they punctured the tires on just because they’re bad people.
Chaos steps forward to the man. “I would hate to be a minion to any other overlord but myself,” he muses with a superior gentleness.
The man heaves breath in terror. “It’s… okay. My family will be taken care of. He’ll see to th-”
“Very good,” Chaos says gently.
The man flinches. “Wh… what?!”
“Perhaps Greed had forgotten that I can see through matter, including people. It will be one of those lapses in concentration that will doom him…” Chaos sighs. “What an utter waste of my time. Even so, I’ll have to play his game to get a shot at him before he can kill my minions, and pacifying him is the only way to do so.”
“O-oh, so you don’t need the scroll?” the man asks with an air of mixed concern.
“I’m not a monster,” Chaos says gently. “The strongest people come up with solutions that prevent hard decisions. Why would I tear a scroll out of you when I could just glance through you?”
The man exchanges some confused looks with a few others. “I… yeah, good point, my lord.”
“Now you all should go put out the fires along the city.”
“That’s not our, job, my lord,” another of the operatives says with a firm cross of the arms.
Chaos scoffs as the freed Delivery Minion rushes over with his new, now quite broken, scooter. “And threatening innocent underlings is? Your reasons for living are weak.”
“You need no reason other than money,” the operative states arrogantly. “It is truth, it is purity, is righteousness, it is-”
“Then have some,” Chaos says.
In a split second, Chaos opens a gateway through his dimensional innards to Vault Tower’s center. The overlord vomits a torrent of one thousand sin coins at a fatal velocity, enough to crush the man and pile over several of those unlucky enough to be nearby.
The operatives jointly panic and celebrate as they dash to arrest as many coins of their coworker’s corpse as possible.
Chaos just shakes his head before looking down to Delivery Minion. “Did harm come of you?”
Delivery Minion sadly presents his scooter, with both tires sliced for no reason other than to break the little dude’s heart.
Chaos repairs the damage with a wave of his hand and then opens a gate leading back to Towerne. “Tell Towerne Ops Minion that I’ll be a bit later than I had originally planned. It seems I have much wickedness to judge.”
Delivery Minion nods meekly as he quickly pumps air into his scooter. “Gotcha, boss man… thanks for taking care of us.”
Chaos looks down with a fatherly grin. “As the years go by I find ever more that caring for you all is the one thing I’ve done that truly satisfies me. Other pleasures and victories pale in the sight of guiding and creating new life in others.”
Delivery Minion hops onto his slick aqua-colored scooter and starts it up. “We all appreciate you a lot, you know. Don’t think I could ask for a better… anything, really.”
Chaos chuckles. “Go deliver your message, mail-ling.”
“Uh, mailing what?”
“Go,” Chaos reiterates with a smile, presenting the portal.
Delivery Minion fires a quick, lazy salute, and hits the throttle on his vehicle. He zooms in and the portal is closed right behind him.
Chaos, now with the fleeing operatives, the only group of them still visible being the ones hauling off the sword, fires off a rare, but elegant scowl.
“I’m going to end you for this one. I’ve humored you for far too long.”
Already in a beach chair sipping a fantaquilla next to a sun-bathing Lust, Greed snaps his fingers.
“Sir,” a buff beach attendant, wearing a mask identical to all of their elite personnel, greets.
“Get me the knightess.”
The attendant nods and steps off.
“You really almost screwed it this time,” Lust notes with a chastising tone to its androgynous voice.
He flicks his sun shades down. “Relax. We just won.”
“So he actually di-” Lust stops spotting a smooth, equally surprised nod from Greed. “Rayda’s ass.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Greed says with a scoff.
Lust hums lasciviously. “I’m sure it was.”
Greed laughs at it – he’s used to his oldest companion’s sense of humor. “I never thought he’d do it. Gotta hand it to you, you were right – he really is a little bitch when it comes to those minions of his.” He leans to look over to a group of five minions, all tied up with magic-reinforced chains. “Ain’t that right?”
“You are in so much trouble,” Equestrian Minion says.
“He’s going to save us, just you wait!” the exceptionally little Sock Minion claims, his tiny body held by a single chain to the others by the pressure alone.
“Well, I think you both could go for some really fine hot dogs right now. You know hot dogs help everyone think more clearly, and I’d bet ya’ a ten sin chip ya’d think twice about this whole kaboodle,” Hot Dog Minion says with a tone that’s actually reasonably friendly considering the situation.
“You two are gonna regret ever being born,” Combat Minion hisses, his massive body still struggling against the chains.
“Dad’s gonna break your necks, rape your bodies, light you on fire, piss out the fire, light you on fire again, tear out your eyes while laughing, and then slit your little throats f-”
“Holy shit,” Combat Minion cuts in.
“Yeah, Pet Sitting Minion, what the heck?!” Sock Minion adds with a horrified tone.
Pet Sitting Minion sighs with a veil of immense disgust. “You guys are soft. Chaos is gonna fucking murder these losers.”
Equestrian minion clears her throat. “Yes, but that language is pretty heavy-handed, don’t you think? What would The Overlord think of that kind of it?”
“Yeah: if you said he was gonna, you know, rape people I don’t think that would be conducive to his image,” Combat Minion explains with an awkward frown.
“I don’t even think he has a hot dog,” Hot Dog Minion adds helpfully.
All of the others look at Hot Dog Minion with an expression that’s bordering between stupefaction and disappointment. They knew Hot Dog Minion would try to bring the conversation back to hot dogs, but they weren’t expecting this.
“I am not going to be a fan of the next few hours,” Sock Minion mumbles with a sigh.
An attendant comes forward with a chat stone.
“My Lord,” he says simply, presenting the stone with a bow.
Greed flexes his fingers as if looking at a delicious pastry. “Why thank you,” he says with a nod before taking up the stone and shooing the man away.
He sparks the stone and waits.
“…Ahh, there you are. Hello… yes, yes it’s me… no, no Lord Knight General wai-… I’m serious. No I’m not selling anything this time… No I do- that was just a moment of weakness, you understand! The mere thought is simply ridiculous! I would never!”
The always-masked Lust slowly tilts their head from their resting position to look at Greed’s stuttering, shocked expression.
“Orde-… Ranalie, stop. For real this time, you will want to hear what I have to tell you. I’m sorry about that, okay? This isn’t some stupid… eh… listen. I have some information that you would find very, very alluring… N-” he groans as the stone flickers on with chatter from the person on the other end. “No, this is not a trick to ask you out to dinner! Now if you’d just listen I’d have told you that I’m giving this to you for free. I have The Kingdom Slayer, you see. I knew you wouldn’-… what? Yes, of course it’s the real thing. Chaos gave it to me himse-… Ran?” He looks up from the stone. “Bitch hung up on me.”
“Bet she’s going right for the kill, then?”
Greed shrugs. “It’s what we wanted her to do in the first place, so I suppose it’s just as good.” Greed hangs the stone up on the arm rest of his chair.
“So you’re still feeling good about it?”
“I absolutely am, dear. We’re going to clear out so many overlords there won’t be a single chance of them coming back. Massive power vacuum. We move in, suddenly we’ll have as big a foothold as Chaos.” He shrugs with a sharp-toothed smile. “I suppose we should have thought to do this sooner. Being insanely rich won’t do shit if you can’t get around without the gate controller’s permission. This way we’ll be able to spread ourselves nice and far. We’re too big for that dinky dimension; we gotta stretch out and see the Omniverse. Honestly I’m surprised I haven’t gone crazy yet from boredom.”
Lust stretches in their spot onto the towel, using a female body to tan their backside. “You don’t really think Order’s going to do it, do you?”
“Take the bait?”
“No, kill him.”
Greed leans back with a scoff. “No, not in a million years. She can, but she won’t. I mean, if she did, great, but that’s not what I’m planning for.”
Lust hums from under their mask. “I haven’t said it in a long time, but you’re quite the dedicated one.”
“I do it all for our brother,” Greed says, looking out to the perfect, shimmering sea, a line of buoys swinging along with the sea spray. “we’re going to become powerful, and then we’re going to step on Chaos ourselves. The revenge won’t really be worth it unless it’s me putting my foot on that bastard’s neck.”
Lust sighs before stretching from its relaxed spot in the sun. “I don’t know what Pride’d think of you so obsessed with aven-”
Greed interrupts it with a laugh and takes a sip from his fruity drink. “He’d have done the same for me,” he says with an intense tone. “Sometimes I ask myself why I humor you at all.”
“It’s like you hardly care about him, his legacy.”
“I do, but unlike you I’m not absolutely obsessed.”
He gives a decisive, denying “tsk”. “Why do I keep you around, again?”
Lust hums with a voice that has shifted entirely from androgyny to overwhelmingly, and yet softly feminine. “I think you know why you keep me around.”
Greed clears his throat with an awkward smile the very moment all Sock Minion releases a long, flowing “GROOOOOOSS!”
“You overlords are disgusting,” Combat Minion hisses.
“As expected of low class pretenders,” Equestrian Minion huffs.
“As expected of losers that are about to get fucked in their necks… to death!” Pet Sitting Minion adds with a deranged snap.
There’s a slight pause, and the four minions look over to Hot Dog Minion, who gives a bland, crooked expression. “Erm… I don’t think I should do this one.”
“That’s a first,” Sock Minion says with a slight scowl.
Greed averts his gaze from his old partner and reaches for the other chat stone nearby.
“So, how is it?” Greed asks.
“The mountains?” a handsome-sounding voice speaks from the other side with a confused tone, “it’s fine, I suppose. Not sure why you think this is all necessary, though.”
Greed leans back into his chair with a relaxed wiggle, trying to work another ridge from his tail in between the wooden slits supporting his weight. “Just trust me, if we played this game any differently he’d be on your ass faster than you could say ‘sorry’. You need to keep the sphere and minion there and just hang about until I send him over. If we’re lucky you’ll get your shot like I promised.”
“And if not?”
Greed shows his sharp semi-human teeth in a smile. “Nothing to worry about; I’ll make sure your kids are well taken care of.”
There’s a short pause over the line. “Thank you, Miles, sir.”
“It’s the least I can do for the boy of such a good friend of mine. I still think about all the times we had together. Your dad saved my life once, you know.”
There’s another silence over the line. The atmosphere of the beach seems to sober up as Greed’s grin takes on a sorrowful inflection.
“I won’t let him down, and I will get Chaos back for what he did to my family… you’re like a second father to me. I don’t think I ever told you that,” the man says with a touched sigh.
“It’s a pleas-”
“I swear you guys are so gaaaaay!” a peppy, squeaky, arrogant voice snips up over the line.
Greed hears over the line the sound of what sounds like a man shifting his weight to look behind himself.
“Shut up, you. You’re going to see that bastard die first hand and you’re gonna li-”
“Poppi’s gonna slap you losers like the dweeb-virgins you are,” the squeak over the line proclaims without even a hint of fear.
Greed clears his throat. “Well, whatever you do, do-”
“He’s going to slap you so hard, all your teeth’s gonna come flying out, and then your bones, and your organs, and your souls! You complete babies! Utter ingrates! Get dabbed on!” She says with a tone that suggests infinite confidence and superiority, as if Chaos himself is speaking through her mind.
Greed’s expression curdles in bewilderment.
The man on the other line sighs. “What the hell is wrong with you? Shut up! What does ‘dabbed on’ even mean?!”
Greed leans forward in recognition. “It’s an internet thing.”
“The internet?” the man on the other line asks.
“Inter-dimensional stuff, don’t worry about it,” Greed explains. “That said. Do your best and make sure no harm comes to her early. Hurting any of his minions can signal him to your location, so just wait and do it when he’s there.”
“Do what? Do you dweebasaurus rexes actually think you’re going to be able to beat him? You complete dumbasses are going to get electrocuted, frozen, cut, and dabbed on all at onc-”
“I’ll do my best, sir,” the man speaks, raising his voice to speak over his hostage minion.
Greed smiles. “Very good. Now I’d love to chat but I have another batch of minions to-”
“Scout, is that you?!” Combat Minion shouts from the side.
A gasp flings out from the stone.
“Combat Minion?! They did not nap my gains bro!” Scout Minion asks through the stone.
“Yeah, they got me. You been lifting still?” Combat Minion says as Greed and Lust share a glance.
“Bro, I’d love to, but shit’s been wild with all these fucking wannabe-overlords jacking it all up. I’m telling you the second Poppi gets us outta here we are so going to Gym Tower.”
Combat Minion nods, the smile on his face watched by everyone. “Good plan. I’ll put together a sick core plan to-”
Greed clears his throat. “Talk to you later,” he says, cutting the mana connection in the stone and hanging it up.
“Wh-” Combat Minion stutters. “You little pipsqueak! I was in the middle of-”
“I can’t bear this anymore,” Greed mutters, leaning over to look at one of his buff operatives wearing setting-appropriate swimwear. “Could you like… put them somewhere?”
“We could throw them in the sea for a bit, sir,” the operative suggests.
There’s a collective gasp from everyone except Pet Sitting Minion.
“The ocean!? Seahorsies!” an instantly ecstatic Equestrian Minion bleats.
“No! Ew! The salt’ll taste terrible!” Combat Minion snaps.
“The water’s scary!” Sock Minion notes with a flinch.
“And there’s no hot dogs in there!” Hot Dog Minion adds with an equal level of terror.
Pet Sitting Minion just sighs and smacks her etherbound jaws. “Yup, I think we could do with a time out. Toss us in.”
And so that is what happened, and they spent the next thirty minutes under the water. Only Pet Sitting Minion was really happy about it though, as there weren’t any sea horses to be seen, but a lot of skeletons from Greed’s former political and economic adversaries.
To be continued.